Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Episode 53: Atelier Cologne Collection Azur (or, Citrus Four Ways)

Hello, we meet again! So sorry for the lack of updates. I am going to make an announcement post shortly about scheduling and whatnot, which will hopefully clear up any confusion about these long breaks.

Today, though, I am finally going to review my Collection Azur from Atelier Cologne. I received this set as a 2k point perk from Sephora, and although it is not available to purchase in this form, each individual scent can be found at either Sephora or the Atelier website. I will have all the links included, and they are NOT affiliate links!

Atelier Cologne Collection Azur

There are four different scents included in the collection, Mandarine Glacial, Sud Magnolia, Figuier Ardent and Cèdre Atlas. Each scent is available in 30mL and 100mL size. 30mL is $85 USD and includes a leather sleeve, which can be personalized if you purchase through the Atelier website. 100mL is $125 USD and the sleeve is not available. All four scents are part of Atelier's collection of Cologne Absolue, and come in a Venetian blue bottle with removable pump. There is a gorgeous leather label on the 100mL size. They look stunning on your vanity, and smell amazing, too.
atelier cologne, collection azur, olfactory exploits, mandarine glacial, figuier ardent, sud magnolia, cedre atlas
Via Olfactory Exploits. Case not included.
Mandarine Glacial - In my opinion the freshest of the collection, and extremely easy and pleasant to wear. Atelier lists the top notes as mandarin from Calabria, lemon from Sicily, bergamot from Calabria. The heart notes are ginger from China, jasmine from Egypt, petitgrain from Paraguay and the base notes are listed as heart of vetiver from Haiti, oakmoss from Slovenia, white amber. The citrus top is well developed. The mandarin stands out nicely and the lemon and bergamot support it in a way that makes this scent pleasant even for those of us who don't love citrus. The warm ginger is what stands out from the middle to my nose, and when combined with vetiver and white amber lend both warmth to an otherwise very fresh scent, as well as an impressive longevity. Mandarine Glacial wear orange.
Sud Magnolia - I briefly touched on this scent in my May Favorites, but Sud Magnolia is the floral of the bunch. It is a very clever composition of a citrus floral, and manages to make the tapestry of notes come together in something that is harmonious, and so life-like that it is hard to ignore. Atelier lists the top notes as bitter orange from Seville, pomelo from Florida, blackcurrant from Burgundy. The heart notes are magnolia from Louisiana, Bulgarian rose absolue, saffron flower from India, and the base notes are atlas cedarwood from Morocco, sandalwood from New Caledonia, musk. In this fragrance it is almost as if the warmth of the South causes that floral heart to rise up into the citrus top. The magnolia and bitter orange seem to dance on my skin, with those juicy ripe notes of pomelo and blackcurrant playing hide and seek with the rose absolue. This is a perfect example of how sandalwood can anchor a scent without getting in the way of any individual note, and here too, you find a warmth that is surprising for such a fresh citrus. Sud Magnolia wears pink.

 Figuier Ardent - This is the lightest of the four scents, but that works well to capture the delicate greenness of the fig. Fig has long been one of my favorite notes in perfumery, because of how many different ways it can change a scent. The fruit is juicy and sweet, the leaves crisp and green, and the wood has a wet earthy greenness that is ever so subtle. In this scent, Atelier lists the top notes as bergamot from Calabria, anise from Turkey, cardamom from Guatemala. The heart notes are fig leaf from Provence, salty fig, black pepper from Madagascar and the base is cedarwood from Virginia, iris from Tuscany, tonka bean from Brazil. In this scent the citrus takes a step back, holds its self back, perhaps, and the fig comes to the front in a green, soft, salty way that plays with the bergamot and anise in a manner reminiscent of walking in wooded groves near a sounding sea. Although it wasn't what I expected, there is such beauty in this delicate scent that I feel almost protective, and the sweet musky tonka bean in the base rewards me back. Although this scent is lighter, with a shorter longevity, it is well worthy of this collection. Figuier Ardent wears turquoise.

Cèdre Atlas - Now this scent has some serious tenacity. It is without a doubt the longest wearing scent in this collection, and is also by far the most masculine. I put it on my husband, and he smelled like a sexy god, but when worn on my own skin I felt out of place, a woman trying to bolster her courage and strength. Mind you, this is not something bad, merely an illustration of how utterly male I found this scent to be. Its feminine counterpart, I suppose, could be Sud Magnolia, but even that scent was more androgynous when worn. I am pleasantly surprised, to be honest. It isn't often that a collection billed as unisex contains scents that lean masculine. The top notes Atelier gives are lemon from Sicily, bergamot from Calabria, blackcurrant bud from Burgundy. The heart notes are cedarwood from Moroccan rif, jasmine from Egypt, apricot. The base notes are white amber, papyrus from India, vetiver from Haiti. Here lemon washes you in clean, fresh waves while the cedarwood muscles its' way to the forefront in an uncontested victory. The apricot is ever so softly adding sweetness and the vetiver is mossy, musky and inarguably the anchor that partners well with the cedarwood. But slightly, ever so slightly, if you give it enough time, a dry smoothness comes out that I am giving the papyrus credit for. Cèdre Atlas wears blue.
The entire collection works beautifully together. Atelier Colognes has woven a common thread in between four distinct scents that for a collector can easily be integrated into their own personal collection either as individual items to wear, or a set. The price point for this collection is well placed. Atelier scents run a gamut from around $100 USD to well over $300 USD, and the pricing for this collection falls on the lower end. The leather sleeves and gorgeous packaging don't hurt, either. For Spring, Summer, Fall or Winter, there is a scent that will carry your through in the Collection Azur.
Collection Azur Rating: ♦♦♦♦♦ - It would be hard pressed for a consumer to not find something the liked among this variety, and even those who are not fans of citrus won't be able to argue with the composition of scents. Each scent has an appropriate amount of sillage, and the longevity to match. Atelier Colognes truly proves they understand the creation of a mass-market, mass-appeal collection, while still maintaining the feeling of personalized service you find with boutique brands. Shop the collection here
Mandarine Glacial: ♦♦♦♦ - The most likely to appeal to all consumers from the collection. Smells divine, wears forever and is just strong enough for your to catch a sniff of yourself every so often and think, "wow". My personal choice for best of the set. Buy it here
Sud Magnolia: ♦♦♦♦ - Floral, feminine, most likely to appeal to women who prefer this type of scent on an everyday basis. It is potent, but never too strong, and unlike some florals never goes "granny" on the skin. My favorite for personal use. Buy it here.
Figuier Ardent: ♦♦♦ - The lightest sillage, and shortest longevity, of the group, most likely to appeal to consumers who don't want a scent that could be offensive. This will work nicely in close quarters such as offices, because it is light and fresh while still separating the wearer from the pack. My personal choice for best year-round. Buy it here.
Cèdre Atlas: ♦♦♦ - The scent you want your man to wear, ladies, I promise. Most likely to appeal to consumers looking to buy a masculine gift, this scent stands out for its excellent longevity and potent sillage. Perfect for a guy, or a gal who prefers scents marketed towards men, it is sexy, yet comfortable at the same time. My personal choice for best mass appeal. Buy it here.

Finally, finally it is done and I hope it was done well. This set deserves the love, and even if I hadn't gotten it as a point perk, I would purchase all four of these scents myself. If you have an Atelier Cologne and you love it, or if one of these scents strikes your fancy, let me know in the comments below! I've tried a few other colognes from the brand, and would be happy to review them if there is interest! Until then, pleasant journeys~


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